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Re: possible FAQs

From: tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
 > > > * Were dinosaurs scaley?
 > > >   (reports of fur on Pterosaurs; speculation of feathers on bodies 
 > > > pre-Archie)
 > >
 > >They seem more to have been naked-skinned, rather like an elephant,
 > >but with lots of bumps.  At least this is true of the larger forms.
 > >So far we do not have any skin impressions or mummy casts of smaller
 > >dinosaurs, so what they were like is still a matter for speculation.
 > I think I may have missed this one before -
 > There is no evidence for "naked skin" (=glandular skin, such as mammals
 > have).  All dinosaur skin impressions show scales.  These scales are mosaic
 > scales, subcircular scales of various sizes, as in crocodillians and
 > turtles.  They do not show overlapping scales, such as most lizards and
 > snakes have.

O.K.  I could have misinterpreted the descriptions I saw.  I saw
alot of references to "bumpy" or to "warty" skin, but relatively
little mention of scales.

Still, this could explain the repeated evolution of armor and tail
clubs in different dinosaur groups.
 > There is a skin impression now of Pelecanimimus, which has "structural
 > fibres" of some sort present. 

Hmm, that is kind of vague.  Is this compatible with the presence
of linearized feathers? (I.e. feathers with reduced pinnules)?
Or is this indicative of some skin structure?

 > I have yet to get a good copy of the photos,
 > so I can't say more about them now.  They sound mighty suspicious,
 > though...

Suspicious as in "suspiciously like feathers", or as in
"sounds like an artifact of preservation"?

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.